A case study examining the factors that construct teacher morale: the influence of leadership upon morale and whether there is a correlation between morale and an individual's position of responsibility within an organisation.
Singer, William Huw
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Through this dissertation, I aimed to investigate and explore how morale was constructed and distributed within a sample school (school A) and whether leadership actions and behaviours can positively influence morale. I also aimed to discover if there was a correration between the responsibilities or role a teacher has within the organisation and their personal level of morale. The decision to examine this field of education was prompted through observations made within my own experiences as a teacher, which developed a desire to have a greater understanding of how leadership, morale and role responsibility were interlinked. A review of recent and relevant literature developed a theoretical understanding of the main issues and topics affecting teacher morale and was used to develop appropriate research questions and key areas of investigation. To collect suitable data, a case study research methodology was chosen employing three separate research instruments, these being a questionnaire, a set of interviews and a focus group session. At each stage, the importance of validity, triangulation and piloting, to maintain the credibility of the data, were considered and these are discussed within the relevant stages of the dissertation. The findings identify that there is a direct correlation between the position a teacher holds within the organisation and their level of morale, in essence that a'middle-management effect'exists. The data gathered also identifies how the personalities of leaders, specific acts of leadership (both positive and negative) and the inter-personal relationship an individual has with leaders are instrumental in developing or lessening morale. The main conclusions drawn from this dissertation are that morale is a very individual, internalised emotion directly linked to leaders and leadership behaviour. That frequent and appropriate recognition and praise from leaders is essential in the development of staff morale, and that, within School A, a'middle manogement effect'is apparent which is predominantly affected by excessive workload demands. It is also clear from the findings that leaders have the capacity to positively influence morale and develop the organisational health of the school, but that this is a long-term process.
MA Education Thesis
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